The South West Region has long dealt with a severe road problem that has made it difficult for residents to move freely and operate efficiently. This issue has particularly plagued the Kupe Muanenguba Division with inhabitants for several years being completely cut off from direct connection to the rest of the Region. Inhabitants have been forced to use the longer and more expensive option of passing through the Littoral Region to reach other parts of the South West. A presumably 45 minutes journey from Tombel to Kumba can now take over 3 to 4 hours as commuters have to go through Loum in the Littoral Region and get down to Bikoko junction, then to Buea and back to Kumba. Worst still if you are from Nguti Sub-division and you have administrative business in Bangem, the Divisional headquarters, your ordeal is mind burgling.

Since traveling from Kupe Muanengube to the rest of the South West Region is difficult and costly, it is laborious for people to access essential services, including healthcare and education. Equally, the poor road conditions made it challenging for farmers and traders to transport their goods to the markets, reducing their chances of making a decent income. The Kumba main market, the hub for marketing of agricultural products, and shopping centre for most of the population of the Region, has remained nearly inaccessible to the population of the villages along the Kumba -Tombel road stretch in the last several years as a result of the sociopolitical crisis.

 In its role as the development front liner of the region, SOWEDA's recent efforts to rehabilitate the Kumba-Tombel road are set to change this present state of things. Thanks to a convention signed between the South West Development Authority and the Ministry of Public Works (MINTP), a full rehabilitation of the Kumba – Tombel stretch of road is presently underway. 

After close to seven (7) weeks in the field, about 23 km of the 33km has been bulldozed while grading and compacting has been done on 10km. The first part of works began from the Loum end of the road up to the Mungo bridge. The relay was picked up from the Kumba end where works are still ongoing. So far, realization at this phase stands at about 66%.  Phase two and three will involve the complete grading, recharging and compaction of the full 33km and the construction of culverts and rain gates.

The Kumba-Tombel road is an important route in the region, connecting the city of Kumba, in the Meme division, to the Tombel Sub-Division in the Kupe Muanengube Division. The stretch is a connection of two national roads; No.5 from Tombel and No. 8 from Kumba. 

The rehabilitation of the Kumba-Tombel road is already bringing about a significant change as some drivers and bike riders are using the now more easily accessible road. Once the project is complete, it will be an important contributor to rekindle the local economy of not just Kumba and the villages along the road stretch, but beyond. 

It is the firm belief of SOWEDA that the rehabilitated road is an essential milestone in revamping the development of the South West Region and it will bring about a consequential impact, particularly on agriculture, businesses, healthcare, education, commerce and general wellbeing of the riverine population. Farmers and traders will be capable of transporting their goods to markets using vehicles, reducing their financial burdens and increasing their income. 

Category: News